Patrick Joyce knows one thing. He will not live to see his children grow up.
“It’s like watching a great film and not being able to see the end,” he says. In 2008, Patrick was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) or in the US, more commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s disease after the baseball player. In the UK, where Patrick, his wife Kathy, and their three small children, Reuben (7), Elliot, (2), and Nancy, (5 mths), live, it is known as motor neuron disease or MND. Patrick is losing his ability to walk, talk, eat and ultimately, to breathe. He is not expected to live to see his daughter enter kindergarten.
So, you are probably wondering…what is the good in this situation? Actually, it’s all Patrick’s idea, I’m just sharing his story. A friend sent me the link to Patrick’s website, www.patricktheoptimist.org and well, I didn’t know he had MND until I clicked on the link.
This man, who already needs help walking, and is struggling to talk, and yet he is determined to use what is left of his life to encourage others to do something optimistic every day. He says, “MND may be incurable but I am an incurable optimist. I know that through optimism we can find a cure for MND.”
And Patrick is leading by example…Patrick is an artist and as part of his campaign for incurable optimism, despite limited mobility, and decreasing muscle control, he is working on producing portraits of 100 incurable optimists. He’s well on his way (and may I say, as I fancy myself a fellow artist, he’s very good!) You can see his portraits and nominate an incurable optimist you know for the series at his website.
“I found out first-hand what MND does to individuals and families…I want to help stop this. I want to get better care for me and my fellow sufferers and I want a cure.
Daily Practice: For yourself and for Patrick, do something optimistic.